Non Fiction Book Reviews: 101 Life Hacks and Surprising Stories behind Everyday Stuff

101 Life Hacks by Aubre Andrus

101 Life Hacks: Genius Ways to Simplify Your World
by Aubre Andrus (Goodreads Author)
4 out of 5 stars

This book has amazing hacks and tips for all kinds of things from making your own crafts to reusing objects in unexpected ways. You can make your own tablet holder, pom-poms, or tote bag out of old materials. You can reuse carbingers, rubber bands, or binder clips in new ways. There are recipes to cook, activities to do, and crafts to make. There are even studying hacks to help you do well in school.

I really liked the short biographies of scientists and inventors (many of them children or teens) who have made amazing discoveries and created their own ingenious hacks to make the world a better place. There is one about a monitoring device that detects illegal logging in the rainforest, and another one that provides medical testing for only one penny so that people can monitor their own health.

Every page is full of colorful photos, and little boxes of information and instructions that make this book attractive and easy to read. I love the design!

I found it funny that this book presents regular arithmetic as a “hack”. The “new math” that is taught in public schools today is so unnecessarily complex that plain arithmetic has now become a “hack”. If basic addition and subtraction has now become a “hack”, I fear for the future of the human race.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

More Surprising Stories Behind Everyday Stuff by Stephanie Warren Drimmer

More Surprising Stories Behind Everyday Stuff
by Stephanie Warren Drimmer
5 out of 5 stars

This book gives the backstories to dozens of everyday things with chapters about medicine, toys, food, sports, and clothing. There is a whole chapter all about ancient inventions like the wheel, the compass, or hourglass. There is also a chapter about traditions around the globe like flags, manners, mistletoe, and parades. Where did all these things come from?! This book gives the answers.

Every page is full of colorful photos, and little boxes of information and instructions that make this book attractive and easy to read. I love the design!

I especially loved the part about ancient toys from the Greek and Roman empires. Children had dolls and toy chariots and pretend knights going way back in history! There is also a section about clothing and makeup from the Victorian era that was dyed with arsenic or lead, leading to people being poisoned. There was also arsenic in wallpaper at such high levels that it may have been what killed Napoleon.

One thing I really appreciate about this book is that the text is very clear about what is a theory and what is proven fact. It will say things like “scientists believe” that this thing happened billions of years ago. I know that I can trust the facts in this book, because they are careful to only state the absolute proven truth.

It’s just amazing to see how the microscope was invented, how germs were discovered, and how vaccines were developed. Such a cool book!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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